Patrick, as for EOI's it does matter that people send them in as it gives base numbers for the NLC to decide how much to bring in, if no-one sent them in then the numbers of bottles actually hitting the shelves would be waaay smaller. Tom actually goes through them all to make sure the allotted numbers put in by members go to the stores they specify. I always make my numbers higher than what I would probably buy to help increase the numbers.
I agree that the NLC stopping the individual orders from the beginning took a lot away from the club, no-one was more upset about that than I was. I totally understand people not seeing any benefit from being members anymore but your replies to the EOI's gives you a wee voice and members do get the emails with the advance warning of beer hitting the shelves. On orders with small allotments this can be the difference of getting a particular beer or not.
The reality is that the beer club has totally changed the world of beer in this province and has made it a reasonable place to live with a pretty constant rotation of beer to choose from. That work has built the customer base that is allowing the boom of new microbreweries we are going to have by the end of next year. How far behind would we still be if the club had never happened? The NLC still does not have a dedicated beer person.
Will there come a time that there's no reason for the club to exist anymore? I don't know the answer to that, but in the meantime it's nice to be working with a liquor board that brings in every single beer we request. I know for a fact that our relationship with the NLC is envied by people in pretty much every other province, we are very lucky from that perspective.
Tom and I and now Matt Power have dedicated countless hours over the years to get good beer into this province at no profit to us, there were literally thousands of emails putting the Beer Attraction together and that hasn't been totally put to bed yet either. Where does it end?
Onward and upward.
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